Tim Foolery

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An Uber Update

My first taxi experience with Uber last week was great.  I was pretty stoked about my first ride. I used the service a couple times since the first run and had great success…I then tried the service again on Thursday — with much different results.

I had to run to the office from a meeting across town (to pick up laptops, etc) so I order a taxi via Uber, which was set to arrive in 5 minutes.  After a while I got another notice that the taxi would arrive in 2 minutes, then that it was arriving. The app then failed, so I couldn’t get the taxi number, not that it really mattered.  I was standing directly under the address sign on the building where the taxi was supposed to meet me. No taxi was anywhere near.  The driver called me saying he was here.  He wasn’t. I asked what his cab number was – I couldn’t understand him.  I even asked him to text me his taxi number – no good.  After 10 more minutes of trying to track down the driver, I decided to skip it and walked a few blocks to get another cab.

After about 20 minutes I get an email indicating my trip was complete. The trip I never took.  He charged me just for the basic fare.  This was frustrating. But at least he didn’t try to scam me (by pretending to drive me to ORD, or a far flung suburb).

I decided to email Uber and explain the situation and ask them to reverse the charges.  I was prepared to dispute the charges (a whopping $3.40) on my credit card if Uber was uncooperative, but the Uber team responded to my email in less than 24 hours and took care of it.

So, what’s the moral of this story? Uber isn’t perfect. It is a service that relies on independent taxis to provide their service.  The thing they can control is the customer service they provide — and Nicole solved my problem and did it quickly.

Do I wish this service was more perfect? Of course, but the idea of not having to fight with the taxi driver just so you can use a credit card is worth the little hiccups I’ve experienced.

What has been your experience with Uber? Is it better than you expected?  Do you find value in the service?

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